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MAN launches initiative to combat driver shortages   

 

Germany has a shortfall of some 80,000 truck drivers. MAN is now joining with partners to address this shortage – with the Drive for Germany initiative.

A whole industry is alarmed. While demand is ever greater due to the rising flow of goods, more and more often, even the most modern truck is left at a standstill because of a shortage of drivers. Currently in Germany, some 80,000 driver’s seats are empty, and the IRU, the world road transport organisation, says that this figure will rise to around 185,000 by 2027. The consequence is that companies are having to turn down orders, and there is a risk of supply bottlenecks. Neither economists nor politicians have yet found any recipe for success in tackling the driver shortage

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The gaps are growing: There are currently around 500,000 truck drivers in Germany. 80,000 jobs are unfilled right now, but this figure could rise to 185,000 by 2027.

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We can’t take things for granted: There are only full shelves in the supermarkets if there are enough people to drive the trucks.

As a commercial vehicle manufacturer, we want to make our contribution to ensuring that this is valued across society with the 'Driving for Germany' initiative.

Christoph Huber
CEO of MAN Truck & Bus Deutschland GmbH

MAN Drive for Germany initiative seeks to brush up the image of the profession

 

MAN Truck & Bus is taking the initiative, and that initiative is called Drive for Germany. Working with the drivers’ club Trucker’s World, MAN Financial Services, the Bundesverband Wirtschaft, Verkehr und Logistik (BWVL – Federal Economics, Transport and Logistics Association) and other partners from the transport and logistics sector, the commercial vehicle manufacturer wants to increase appreciation for professional truck drivers and brush up the image of the profession.

“The pandemic has starkly revealed what an essential role truck drivers play in our society. As a commercial vehicle manufacturer, we would like to use the Drive for Germany initiative to help to raise appreciation of this in wider society,” says Christoph Huber, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus Deutschland GmbH and one of the idea generators of the initiative. “At the same time, we see it as our responsibility to do all that we can to sustainably improve the day-to-day working lives of drivers.”

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Supply chains under stress: The lack of drivers has led to many companies already having to turn down orders, with vehicles at a standstill. 

Helping to improve sustainability in the industry

 

On the subject of sustainable improvements, the initiative fits in well with the decision to embed the subject of sustainability in MAN’s corporate strategy for the first time. The 2021 Sustainability Report produced by the long-established Munich-based company also detailed People and Culture as an area for action. This includes innovative and flexible working landscapes – aspects that will also make the truck driver profession more attractive.  

So you see, the focus at MAN is on truck drivers – at the end of the day, that’s who we design the trucks for. MAN has also joined the Responsible Trucking initiative, which aims to improve road freight working conditions and compliance with legal regulations. This is also mentioned in the 2021 Sustainability Report.  

0 partner companies

have so far provided trailers on which the nationwide initiative to address the lack of drivers can be promoted on a large scale.


 

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Drive for Germany: MAN is working with partners to increase appreciation for professional truck drivers.

Slogan emblazoned on many truck trailers

 

The Drive for Germany initiative kicked off in September with the presentation at the IAA Transportation 2022 event in Hanover, under the slogan: “We’re moving Germany”. So far, some 77 partner companies have provided trailers on which the nationwide initiative to address the lack of drivers can be promoted on a large scale. The whole thing will be accompanied by a range of communications measures to raise awareness of the topic across the broadest possible spectrum.  

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Room for improvement: Currently, only 1.9 per cent of truck drivers are women. Female role models will help to get more women behind the wheel of a truck. 

Safe parking areas and more family-friendly working hours

 

On the whole, however, the driver shortage is not just an economic problem, but a political one too – and one that needs an urgent solution. The starting points are better potential earnings, fair competition in the road freight industry, safe and well-lit truck parking areas with clean sanitary facilities and more family-friendly working hours, including part-time working. Good female role models are also needed, if the proportion of women in the industry is to be increased from 1.9 per cent. 

Above all though, the 500,000 professional truck drivers in the country must be better appreciated. At the end of the day, it is they who secure the delivery chains and with them our supplies. They ensure that the things we need every day will reach the supermarkets, shops and pharmacies tomorrow too. 

 

We see it as our responsibility to do everything we can to improve drivers' everyday working lives in the long term.

Christoph Huber
CEO of MAN Truck & Bus Deutschland GmbH

Text   Christian Jeß
Photos   MAN, iStockphoto, Shutterstock

#Sustainability#Company#CorporateResponsibility#LongDistanceTransport
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